In Her Shoes is a series written by readers to give us a glimpse into their lives – what it is like to walk in their shoes. I am beyond excited to share today’s guest post with you! Brittanie is my brave and beautiful cousin. As I was thinking of all of the amazing women that I wanted to share with you, she was definitely one of the first that came to mind! Let’s join our friend as she shares with us what it is like to walk in her shoes. ~ Ginger
Wow, where to start. My name is Brittanie Pruitt and I am a 28 year old mother of one, and soon to be (February) a mother of two. I have been married to my husband for 4 years now, and we are both employed with the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department. I grew up in a small town just west of Wichita, and after graduating, continued with my BA in Sociology from Kansas State University. In 2007 I was offered a job as a Police Officer in Kansas City, KS. It was funny at the time, the only thing that I knew about Kansas City, Kansas was that it was also called Crimedotte, and realizing that I had to live there. Wyandotte county is the smallest county in the state of KS but has a pretty high crime rate. I was so excited for the new adventure and couldn’t wait to hit the streets.
Most people who knew me growing up saw me as a nice little cheerleader/pageant girl, and didn’t realize my passion for law enforcement. To this day, it’s still funny when people ask me what I do for a living. Their expression is priceless, and then they glance at my stature. Yes, I may be a female who is 5’4 tall and weighing a whopping 125, but let me tell you, I’m not afraid to go toe-to-toe if I need to! 😉
I also met my best friend, my husband and my rock, working for the Police Department. He has been an officer for 14 years now. He is currently working as a K9 officer, so we get the pleasure of taking care of his partner Duke. We were married in 2009 and we had our first child in September of 2010.
Our whole world changed from that point on! My view on life and my career changed drastically. When I first started, I wasn’t so worried about situations that I was in because as a police officer it is our job to put others first, but also to make sure that we went home for that night. Now with a child at home who needed her mother, I had to make sure that I was safe, as well as the citizens I was trying to protect, so work became not as important. My family came first. One of our sayings as law enforcement officers is that it is a good night when everyone on your shift goes home safe! I realized more than ever that my family needed me. We know when we take that oath as police officers that we may not come home and we accept that.
My first experience with how real this can be was when I was a Public Information Officer for the Department, and part of my duties were to respond to any major incident, i.e. shooting, death or officer involved shooting. In March of 2011 my pager went off approximately 11:30pm, stating there was an officer involved shooting, and for the on-call PIO to respond. Shortly after that my phone starting ringing and I started to receive text messages. It was from my husband, and all he stated was that he was ok and that he would be late. I knew right then that he had been involved in a shooting. When my husband came home several hours later, he told me that he was dispatched to a call. When he and another officer arrived on the scene, they heard people screaming. They immediately ran up the stairs in the apartment complex, and on the stairs they were confronted with a man who was coming at them with a large knife. They ultimately had to shoot and kill the armed subject. My husband was just a couple feet away from getting stabbed. It was either my husband or the armed suspect going home that night, and God was watching over my husband that night.
People ask me if those types of situations scare me, or do I worry about my husband getting hurt. Of course I worry about him getting injured or killed in the line of duty, but I do not worry about it all the time. I can’t. I know and he knows that we are smart and safe officers, and will do anything and everything we can to take care of ourselves and our fellow officers, but we also know the risk. We knew the risks when we signed up for the job. So I can’t always think about something happening, I would drive myself crazy!
Since my daughter was born in 2010, my husband and I have not worked the same schedule, nor have we had the same days off. One plus is that we save money on childcare, but we always talk about what it would be like to have “normal” jobs where we worked Monday-Friday with weekends off. Right now I work the “normal” hours with weekends off and my husband works 4pm-12pm with Wednesday/Thurs off. So when do we see each other, you may ask, well….. We see each other at night, on his days off for a couple hours, and then on weekends before he has to go to work. It can become stressful at times, especially trying to raise children. We will do a date night at least once a month, which is definitely needed.
My day right now starts at 5am with a trip to the gym to get a workout in before I head to work. This is my stress relief and my alone time without anyone yelling for me or asking me for help. I get to recharge and de-stress.
I am currently on light duty status, since I am pregnant. It is too dangerous for a pregnant woman to work on the streets. I currently work in an office within the Department until after I have our baby in February. Although, when I return back to work, I will no longer be working the streets. I am getting promoted to Detective on November 14th. We took a promotion test back in October of 2012, and I tested 6th out of 40 people. So I am very excited to begin this new adventure in my career.
I must admit though, this was not the career that I had in mind for myself, although I had envisioned myself in some type of law enforcement career. I had wanted to initially work for the FBI or DEA after college, then realized that I needed more schooling or work experience within a police department. So that’s when I decided to start out with a Police Department, and now, 6 1/2 years later, I am still here and will probably be here until I can retire. I must say, I enjoy what I do, but some days wish I had the normal family life, where each night we could sit down for dinner and enjoy our weekends off. That’s not what God had planned for my life. He thought I would make a better crime fighter than anything else! 😉 I thank Him everyday that my husband and I come home safe!
Thank you so much to you and your husband for your service to the people of Kansas, Brittanie! And congratulations on being promoted to Detective! It is an honor to call you my family. Thank you for sharing with us what it is like to walk in your shoes!
To read more stories, or if you would are interested in sharing your story, please go to the In Her Shoes tab near the top of the page. I love learning about the people in this series. Connecting with others seems to make the world feel not quite as big and scary. We’re all in this together – journeying through life, loving our families, and leaving our little mark on the world. I can’t wait to hear from you, to read your stories, and learn more of what it is like to walk in your shoes. ~ Love, G
*Linking up to Women Living Well Wednesdays
"I'm so glad that I live in a world where there are Octobers." ~ Anne of Green Gables I'm linking...